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Two decades ago, two states proclaimed that they'd someday become one.

And two decades ago, the first tentative steps to restore a lost empire began.

The Russia-Belarus Union state turns 20-years-old this weekend.

And while this long effort at integration has itself proven to be less than advertised -- in many ways it marked the beginning of Moscow's quest to revive its imperial glory and restore its dominance over the former Soviet space.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we look at the union state at 20 and what it tells us about that effort today.

Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Andrew Wilson, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of the books Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship and Ukraine Crisis: What It Means For the West.

Also on the podcast, Mark, Andrew and I look at recent revelations about Moscow's plans for the occupied areas of eastern Ukraine.

Enjoy...

Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.

About This Blog

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or

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